A list of things my weight says about me:
- How much I weigh.
That’s it. It is my “numerical reflection of [my] relationship with gravity” if you will. And that number doesn’t mean a damn thing. It does not and can not say a thing about my health, how much I eat, my morals and beliefs, my character or attitude. It does not define me as a person or make claims about who I am. My weight can’t tell you what I had for dinner last night or what I’ll have for breakfast this morning. It doesn’t make a moral claim about whether I’m a good or bad person. All those attributions are created by society.
Having more fat on your body doesn’t automatically mean that you eat more, are unhealthy, are lazier, are stupid, or smell. Having less fat on your body alternately also doesn’t mean that you eat less, are healthier, are more active, smarter, and smell better. People with either type of body, and everywhere in between, are their own individual self and are made up from such a complex combination of characteristics that you simply can’t define someone and make assumptions based solely on their body size. Get to known a person for who they really are, rather than judging them for what you think they are based on stereotypes.
“Consider Hollywood’s current It Girl, Keira Knightley. Knightley has a body mass that places her in the second percentile of the population. If her weight were to deviate as radically in the other direction – in other words if she were in the 98th percentile of body mass – she would weigh approximately 300 pounds.
Yet Knightley is presented by our media-industrial complex as a completely natural object of male desire, while men attracted to 300-pound women are considered to be in the grip of a bizarre fetish.”
– Paul Campos
I don’t think Campos is saying that there’s anything wrong with being attracted to women of either size (he is the author of the the Diet Myth after all), but just how skewed it is that we can place someone on one end of the spectrum on a pedestal, but someone on the other end is deemed completely unacceptable.
Why is it that we can accept that people are naturally taller or shorter, have bigger or smaller breasts, large or tiny feet, but we can’t accept that some people are just naturally fatter or thinner? Why is it so culturally ingrained in our heads that fatter people are doing something wrong to be that size?
Maybe, like breast size, it’s just the way they’re built. A woman with naturally large breasts didn’t do anything special to have them, they just happened to be that size when she was done puberty. Just like someone who has smaller breasts didn’t do anything special to have breasts that size, that’s just the way she was made. Just like the majority of women and men (“underweight”, “normal weight”, “overweight” and “obese” all included) probably aren’t doing anything special to be the size that they are, they just happen to be that size because that’s where their biology put them.
There is nothing inherently wrong with any weight. Some people are just naturally *insert weight descriptor here*. Sure, some overweight and obese people overeat, but so do some normal weight or even underweight people. Their bodies simply process the food in a different way. Some overweight people also eat really healthy, the same as some normal weight people, and yet they are still that size. This isn’t something that this person is doing wrong, it’s just the way their biology works and is not something that they should be looked down upon for.
Why is fat hatred and fat shaming still considered to be an acceptable form of bigotry in our society, often under the guise of “concern for their health”? Or even worse, often just as a somehow socially accepted form of bullying? Because let’s be honest, when you’re making a comment about how someone is “too fat to wear that” or any other unnecessary remark centered around someone’s weight and body, you’re right on par with every other bully out there. Another person’s body is none of your business and you have no right or need to judge.